If you’re singing along while reading it, you’ve got it right! We’re going to discuss the famous second-generation K-pop girl-group, Wonder Girls! Even if you’re not really into K-pop, you must at least have heard Wonder Girls’ 2008 hit song, Nobody, which charted at number #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Wonder Girls the first K-pop group to enter the chart. A brief introduction for those who don’t know about them: Wonder Girls was a girl-group founded by JYP Entertainment. The group debuted with the single Irony, and five members in February 2007: Yeeun, Sunye, Sunmi, Hyuna, and Sohee. Before the release of their debut studio album, The Wonder Years (2007), Yubin was introduced to the band following Hyuna’s departure. The album spawned the hit single Tell Me, which overcame on- and offline music charts in Korea. Wonder Girls officially announced their disbandment in 2017 after being in the industry since 2007. Most of their former members are now still active and pursuing careers as solo artists. Wonder Girls’ disbandment also put them on the list of second-generation girl-groups that have already disbanded, following Miss A, 2NE1, 4Minute, Sistar, and so on. In this article, Channel-Korea will be providing you everything you need to know about Wonder Girls members’ solo activities after the group’s disbandment. So, stay tuned!
Yubin’s Solo Activities
First, let’s get to know about Yubin’s solo activities! Not only a former member of the girl group, but she’s also an amazing singer, rapper, songwriter, and actress! In April 2018, she revealed in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine that she was recording her first solo album. On May 15, 2018, JYP Entertainment confirmed that she had finished filming the lead single’s music video, which was scheduled to be released alongside her album in early June. Yubin’s first solo album, City Woman, released the lead single Girl on June 5, 2018.
The B-side single, City Lover, was unreleased due to copyright issues after it came out that the album would be delayed due to similarities with the Japanese city pop song Plastic Love, by Mariya Takeuchi in 1984.
Yubin also released her first EP, #TUSM, on November 27, 2018, with the lead single Thank U Sooo Much.
In April 2019, Yubin served as a judge for the JTBC dance competition television show Stage K.
On October 30, 2019, she released her third single album, Start of the End, along with the lead single Silent Movie, featuring Yoon Mi-rae.
Regarding Wonder Girls’ disbandment, Yubin expressed her feelings about the dissolution of the group. “When Wonder Girls could last for 10 years, I gained a lot of experience. I spent my 20s as part of the Wonder Girls. I felt happiness, anger, love, and pleasure. It was the most special moment for me and during that time, I always grateful,” said Yubin. “Because the members spoke sincerely, we all wanted a new beginning and each of us wanted to explore the music we wanted. We made a decision and supported each other, so we all worked hard after that,” added Yubin. “For 10 years, we focused on the group. We could have continued as a group but when talking to each other, we really wanted a new start. We thought we could work harder that way and we made a decision after a long talk. And now, all members are doing well. It’s a bit sad, but disbanding is something I don’t regret,” concluded Yubin. Well, good luck on your new journey, Yubin!
Hyerim’s Solo Activities
Next, we have Hyerim! On January 26, 2017, it was revealed that after contract renewal talks with some of its members failed, Wonder Girls would be disbanding. Hyerim was one of JYP Entertainment representatives who extended her contract with the agency. As part of JYP Entertainment’s JYP Duet Match campaign, she released a single collaboration with Bernard Park, called With You, on April 3, 2016.
Hyerim, also known as Lim, contributed to the composition of two songs on the single EP Why So Lonely by Wonder Girls in July of the same year. She also appeared in tvN’s 2018 drama, Hello, Stranger!, where she participated in the drama’s OST, alongside Mint and Soorin Kim. Starring actor Ji Il-joo and Hyerim as the main characters, the international ad entitled Hello, Stranger! will make your heart flutter in the form of a dramatic video (35 minutes) and teaser trailer (30 seconds).
There haven’t been any new projects for Hyerim in 2019, but she is currently studying at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, as reported by Mediapia. Hyerim posted a picture on Instagram with the words “Good job!”. In the picture, she is taking a certification shot with a bright smile after the midterm exam. After Wonder Girls’ disbandment, apparently Hyerim now is focusing more on her studies. She enrolled in the department of English for International Conferences and Communication at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Not only has she maintained a 4.0 GPA, but she was also awarded a scholarship for her excellent grades. On top of that, Hyerim is also active as an English reporter for the school newspaper, The Argus, and is a member of the College Supporters group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hyerim has even received an award from the Minister of Foreign Affairs for her efforts. Her achievements as a university student may surprise you, but that’s just another reason to cheer for her! She also translated the recently published novel, The Diary of Anne Frank. She had translated the book into Korean from English. However, the talented singer can speak a total of four languages fluently, including Korean, English, Mandarin, and Cantonese! Netizens praised her because of it: “You’re amazing!! Working so hard at school while being a celebrity~~ I support you!” “The way she studies is so motivating!” “She’s awesome because she’s smart.” “Amazing. She’ll definitely succeed in whatever she does.” At one of the interviews in 2018, Hyerim talked about her lack of solo activities after Wonder Girls’ disbandment, as reported by Soompi. “I haven’t done a lot of solo promotions so I would like to, but I am very satisfied with my school life. I focused on my studies and got a scholarship last year, but more than that, I’m proud that I didn’t miss attendance once. My peers are all younger than I am, so I haven’t tried meet-ups or going on blind dates.” “I’ve done some variety of shows that didn’t interfere with my studies. Like any university student, I have a lot of areas of interest and I’m looking for the work I want to do. I’ve been an MC for Arirang TV’s ‘Pops in Seoul’ before, so I want to try emceeing, and I have a lot of interest in songwriting and producing. I’m in the translation department, so if the opportunity arises, I want to do some international work, as well. In the past I’ve worked as a reporter for ‘Entertainment Weekly’ and had a lot of fun. I’m keeping my options open.” Hyerim added. When asked about her former girl-group, Wonder Girls, she said, “Wonder Girls is like my miracle. I’ve done many things I’d never have otherwise, and there’s no remorse from any of the members. I joined the group a little later, but I met older sisters that I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t had that chance.” Hyerim also related she kept in touch with other members, saying, “Yubin and I are still in the same company and I’m still in contact with Yeeun and Sunye. Sunye took great care of me while we were marketing in the U.S. Recently I saw her appear on TV about her life in Canada, but when I told her I enjoyed the show, she was embarrassed.” We wish all the best for Hyerim, whether in her academic life or her career as a celebrity!